My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read A Visit From The Goon Squad in 2011 when it first came out, but I recently reread it after seeing it appear on some Literary Agents’ wish lists as an example of an ideal submission. When a book receives a certain level of attention and is still being talked about by agents over a decade later, it warrants a closer look.

When reading the book for the second time, it surprised me how much of it I still remembered from my first read eleven years earlier. The book is memorable because of Egan’s ability to develop believable interiority for each character. In addition, Egan takes a unique approach by giving equal amounts of attention to her side characters as her main characters, perhaps implementing a take on the Aesop quote: A man is known by the company he keeps.

I especially enjoyed the voices of Rhea and Scotty, who outshine the main characters, Benny and Sasha. Rhea, in particular, left me wanting more after coming to the misguided conclusion that Lou, a music producer who’s having a negative influence over her friend, Joselyn, is her friend.

The allusion between Uncle Teddy’s preoccupation with the Orpheus and Eurydice relief sculpture, his relationship with Sasha, and a tie-in to the music industry theme leaves a lingering rumination.

The book offers no shortage of surprises, including a PowerPoint presentation created by Sasha’s daughter and an ending that leads you to believe it’s going one way but then takes a different direction.

Photo by Angela Davis © 2022